Mauritius is an island nation situated in the Indian Ocean. In the past, the state was alternately a Dutch, French and British colony. Its location to the southeast of the African mainland made the island an important trading centre on the route from Europe to India.
Mauritius gained its independence from Britain in 1968. Today, the country is a parliamentary republic with the president as its head of state. However, Mauritius has remained part of the Commonwealth of Nations.
In 1992, the International Financial Centre was established by allowing non-residents to set up offshore companies in Mauritius. In the same year, the Offshore Trusts Act was adopted, which was later repealed by the Trusts Act, 2001. Such legislative changes gave impetus to the further development of the Mauritius offshore financial industry.
Mauritius is nowadays a primary gateway to Africa and enjoys numerous double taxation treaties with key industrialised countries. It connects Asia, Africa and Australia, making it the major business hub in the region. Modern corporate and AML legislation allows GBL companies in Mauritius to benefit from a low tax regime and a wide network of double taxation treaties. These treaties include 45 countries such as India, the UK, Germany, Italy, UAE and all major African countries. The so-called Mauritius Authorised Companies are exempt from any tax in Mauritius, but cannot benefit from double taxation treaties.
The tax system in Mauritius is based on the concept of residency. A company is deemed to be a tax resident of Mauritius if it is incorporated in Mauritius or its management and control are exercised from Mauritius.
The standard flat corporate tax rate is 15%. This rate applies to Global Business Companies (GBCs), trusts and partnerships that are tax residents in Mauritius. To be a tax resident of Mauritius, the company’s main bank account must be held and its central management and control located in Mauritius.
The Authorised Company is a separate type of company and is not a tax resident of Mauritius. It is regulated by a special regime and is therefore not subject to any taxation in Mauritius. As with the standard IBC, this type of company is not allowed to carry out any business activities in Mauritius.
Dividends paid by a Mauritian company are exempt from tax. A tax credit can be claimed for the underlying tax and withholding tax on foreign dividends.
No capital gains tax is applicable in Mauritius.
The value-added tax rate in Mauritius is 15%, with a reduced tax rate of 0%.
The official currency of Mauritius is the Mauritian Rupee (MUR).
There are no currency exchange controls in Mauritius.
|Currency||Mauritian Rupee (MUR)|
|Capital gains tax||0%|
Mauritius has a hybrid legal system resulting from a combination of both French civil and English common law. The basis of Mauritian legislation is drawn from the French civil code. After Mauritius became a British colony, certain parts of English law were implemented. It should be noted that Mauritius company formation and administration are regulated exclusively by English law.
Offshore legislation, as in other offshore financial centres, is based exclusively on common law statutes. The latest Companies Act, 2001, is largely based on New Zealand’s Companies Act. The offshore trust concept, which allows non-residents to set up a trust in Mauritius, has also been introduced by statute since 1992.
During the past 30 years, Mauritius has established a strong reputation as a leading financial centre in the African region due to its stability and modern offshore legislation.
Mauritius trust legislation provides asset protection provisions to protect trust property. To benefit from this legislation, the terms of the trust must specify Mauritian law as the governing law of the trust.
The following laws regulate the offshore industry in Mauritius:
As an offshore financial centre, Mauritius is a perfect choice for anyone who wants to operate globally. This island nation has developed a strong financial industry comprising international and local banks, management companies, insurance companies, auditing and law firms, etc.
It should be noted that the fees for professional services in Mauritius remain substantially lower than those in European financial centres. Therefore, Mauritius company formation is cost-effective and fast.
The Registrar of Companies in Mauritius is proven to be efficient and service-oriented. The incorporation of a Mauritius company takes only 1-2 days after submission of the incorporation to the Registrar of Companies.
Mauritius is the perfect jurisdiction for those looking to invest in Africa. The island nation has the largest network of double taxation treaties with African countries. Global Business Companies (GBCs) can benefit from the double taxation treaties as tax residents of Mauritius. A GBC can be used as a holding company in Mauritius. Alternatively, it can also be used as a trading company. The lowest tax rate in the region and numerous tax exemptions make Mauritius the preferred financial centre for investing or operating in the African region.
Mauritius can offer up-to-date trust arrangements with asset protection provisions. This allows for the creation of trusts in Mauritius to protect family assets. Mauritius trust law permits the establishment of discretionary, purpose and charitable trusts to meet the needs of the settlor and beneficiaries. The cost of setting up a trust in Mauritius is also lower than in the Cayman Islands or the Channel Islands.
Under the current legislation, it is possible to set up the following types of offshore entities in Mauritius:
Astra Trust can assist with Mauritius offshore company formation. Additional services such as local directors and nominee shareholders are also available. Our company has accumulated extensive experience in the incorporation and administration of Mauritius offshore companies.
A Mauritius offshore company is the best option for the following business activities:
The Global Business Company (GBC) is a company incorporated in Mauritius that has applied for a Global Business License (GBL) issued by the Mauritius FSC.
The main advantage of this type of company is that it is deemed to be a tax resident of Mauritius and can therefore benefit from the wide network of double taxation treaties in Mauritius. The GBC company can apply for a Tax Residence Certificate from the Mauritius Revenue Authority.
The corporate tax rate applicable to a GBC company is 15%. However, a partial income exemption of 80% may apply for specific types of income, reducing the effective tax rate to 3%.
Moreover, a GBC may claim a tax refund for taxes levied on source if higher than 15%. This can lower the effective tax rate to 0%.
The Authorised Company (AC) is a standard offshore vehicle in Mauritius. An AC is not deemed to be a tax resident of Mauritius; its principal place of management and place of business is located outside the island.
AC companies are tax exempt in Mauritius and do not pay any taxes, but also do not benefit from the Mauritius double taxation treaties.
Authorised Companies in Mauritius are mainly used as investment vehicles, international trading companies or for asset holding.
For more information on Mauritius Authorised Company formation, please contact Astra Trust for a free consultation.
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To incorporate an offshore company in Mauritius, the following CDD documents are required:
Mauritius company formation fees include the following services:
After setting up a company in Mauritius, you will receive the following Mauritius company documents:
Other documents depend on the services ordered.
According to the Mauritius Companies Act, 2001, the name of a Mauritius company shall end with:
The proposed company name shall not be identical or similar to the name under which another company is registered in Mauritius that the use of the name would, in the opinion of the Registrar, be likely to confuse or mislead.
The name shall be stated in the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Mauritius company upon incorporation.
For the Authorised Company, the minimum number of directors is one. Directors can be individuals or legal persons of any nationality and residency.
The board of directors meetings of an Authorised Company can take place anywhere in the world.
Shareholders of an Authorised Company can be individuals or legal entities of any nationality and residency. The minimum number of shareholders is one.
For the Global Business Company, the minimum number of directors is two. The directors shall be individuals and residents of Mauritius for the company to be a tax resident of Mauritius. It is not obligatory for a GBC to have local shareholders or resident beneficiaries.
Astra Trust can assist you in all matters relating to Mauritius offshore company formation, provision of directorship services, accounting and bank account opening. Ask us how to register a company in Mauritius for further details.
For both types of Mauritius companies, the Global Business Company and the Authorised Company, the share capital can be of any value and currency (except MUR) as stated in the Memorandum and Articles of Association upon incorporation.
The standard authorised share capital is usually USD 50,000 with a par value of USD 1 each. The issued share capital can be one share of any par value up to USD 50,000 or 50,000 shares of par value of USD 1 each.
The authorised share capital can be both par value and no par value.
A Mauritius offshore company can issue different classes of shares, as stated in its Memorandum of Association.
Bearer shares are prohibited from being issued in Mauritius.
The registers of directors, shareholders and beneficial owners are stored at the registered office by the management agent of the Mauritius company.
The register of directors and secretaries is open to the public and accessible through the Mauritius registrar of companies. The information about shareholders and beneficial owners is not publicly available and is stored with the managing company at the registered address of the Mauritius offshore company. The information about beneficial ownership of Mauritius companies is shared with the Mauritius authorities.
The privacy of a Mauritius offshore company can be further enhanced by using the services of a director and a nominee shareholder. Beneficial ownership can be structured through trusts or foundations, where the shares of the company would form part of the trust’s assets.
The beneficiary of the trust may be of any nationality or residency, as stated in the trust deed. If you would like to know how to register a trust in Mauritius, please do not hesitate to contact our team.
The economic substance requirements in Mauritius are only applicable in the case of GBCs applying for an 80% partial tax exemption on certain income streams. The rules in such cases are very specific and can be explained by our specialists on a case-by-case basis.
Apart from that specific scenario, there are no economic substance requirements applicable in Mauritius.
A Global Business Company (GBC) incorporated in Mauritius must keep accounting records up to date and its officers must be able to explain the company’s operations.
The GBC must appoint an auditor, prepare audited accounts and file them with the authorities annually.
An Authorised Company (AC) is not required to appoint an auditor or prepare and file audited statements with the authorities in Mauritius.
If you would like to know more about setting up a company in Mauritius, please contact the Astra Trust team to receive further detailed information free of charge.
Business Activity Restrictions
Requirements for Directors
Requirements for Secretaries
Requirements for Shareholders